Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cardinal Levada & Mexican Bishop divert attention away from Benedict XVI to celibacy and pornography

As the British Dawkins and Hitchens checkmate the Pope by attempting to arrest him for crimes against humanity should Benedict XVI land in England this coming September, the Pope's men, Cardinals and Bishops, and the Vatican Tower are diverting and diffusing attention away from Benedict XVI by talking about prickly issues like celibacy, pornography and women ordination. When it comes to the game of chess, the Vatican is a pro for they have done it for centuries and have won. All they have to claim is "The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ", and with that classic line -- all Catholics will run to the rescue and defense of Benedict.

Remember Cardinal Sodano? Recently, when he was in Chile, he blamed homosexuality for the problem of priest pedophilia. That got the Gays and lesbians roaring after him and thus less attention was on Benedict XVI and his "cheap gossip" fluke during Holy Week. See BENEDICT promises “CHEAP JUSTICE”. Costly justice means: Fire Cardinals Law, Mahony & guilty Bishops! Expose John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/04/benedict-promised-cheap-justice-costly.html

We have exposed this media spin in the “Vatican segue Benedict XVI sex abuse scandals into the Devil, celibacy and role of women. Who’s biting the Vatican bait of deception?” http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/vatican-segue-benedict-xvi-sex-abuse.html

See our earlier article on Dawkins and Hitchens in “The French Revolution at the Vatican might start in England with the arrest of Benedict XVI led by the British Dawkins and Hitchens” http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/04/french-revolution-at-vatican-might.html

So Benedict XVI is biding time and hoping that time will make Catholics and the world forget that he was the 5-Star General of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. Benedict XVI is now a RATzinger lost in the Vatican sex scandal maze with nowhere to run http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/03/benedict-xvi-is-now-ratzinger-lost-in.html


Cardinal Levada Blames Celibacy for Clergy Sex Abuse

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-bonavoglia/cardinal-levada-blames-ce_b_560145.html

Given the numerous times that representatives of the Catholic Church hierarchy have denounced efforts to link compulsory celibacy to the terrible history of clergy sex abuse and cover-up, it was astonishing to hear Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles abuse allegations, do just that on PBS Newshourlast week.

Responding to a visiting Margaret Warner's questions about the clergy sex abuse scandal, Levada at one point said: "I think the causes we will see go back to changes in society that the church and priests were not prepared for, particularly changes involving how to be a celibate person in a time of the sexual revolution."

That is a stunning and extremely noteworthy admission, for several reasons. If we take Levada at his word and go the next step, it meant that as a result of the sexual revolution, there were Catholic priests who became involved in all kinds of sexual acting out, from pedophilia (though that is a psychiatric condition with its own etiology) to sex with minors to the sexual exploitation of young -- and not so young -- vulnerable adults.

In fact, a perfect example of this acting out in at least two regards is Marcial Maciel Degollado, the disgraced leader of the Legionaries of Christ -- the powerful religious order of which the Vatican just took control. He not only abused seminarians, some of whom were likely minors at the time, but also apparently sexually exploited women, fathering "several" children.

That acting out was a major problem in itself, inflicting horrendous suffering on the victims of those sexual exploits -- girls and boys, men and women. But the real way that celibacy caused this crisis is that it led the hierarchy to go to outrageous lengths to hide the truth: its failure to maintain a pristine celibate priesthood.

Indeed, a celibate Catholic priesthood has long been a myth rather than a reality. In his research, psychotherapist and former Catholic monk Richard Sipe found that an estimated half of all priests were involved in some kind of sexual activity at any one time. Of those, 15 percent were involved with men, 30 percent with women, and six percent with minors.

The National Lay Review Board established by the U.S. bishops made a similar observation, though it did not differentiate by gender. They reported having heard from "numerous witnesses" that there were "more incidents of sexual relationships between a priest and a consenting adult woman or man than between a priest and a minor." They characterized the women and men involved as "often vulnerable" and the priest's behavior as "gravely immoral."

According to a 2002 Los Angeles Times poll, only a third of priests surveyed in the U.S. and Puerto Rico said that celibacy was not a problem for them.

Sipe charges that despite the level of sexual activity that has existed among Catholic priests, the Church has blatantly and belligerently refused to deal seriously with breaches in celibacy.

"The inherent duplicity between the stated norm, belief and practice thrives on the denial of sexual reality," Sipe has said of the Church and celibacy. "This communal dishonesty sets the stage for sexual corruption and abuse."

In other words, by forbidding priests who choose to be sexual in mature ways that include commitment, responsibility and respect, and by protecting them from the costs of their sexual exploits, the church has effectively condoned a clerical sexual free-for-all. That heterosexual and homosexual behavior may thrive in the Catholic priesthood does not reflect anything inherent about homosexuality or heterosexuality but is rather an indictment of the hypocrisy and duplicity of an elite, closed, all-male system, that condones, indeed, demands, lying about the reality of one's sexual life at all costs.

So Levada is right. The challenge of compulsory celibacy in a sexually charged world has been a major contributor to the Church's clergy sex abuse scandal. Compulsory celibacy cloaked in a mantel of sexual superiority is very dangerous.

No compulsory celibacy means no hypocrisy, less duplicity, and, hopefully, safer congregants and safer kids.

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A prominent Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico blamed eroticism on television and Internet pornography for child abuse by priests, in the latest incendiary comments on sex scandals in the church.

Mexican bishop links pornography, sex education to scandal

MEXICO
April 19, 2010

MEXICO CITY - A prominent Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico blamed eroticism on television and Internet pornography for child abuse by priests, in the latest incendiary comments on sex scandals in the church.

"With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it's not easy to stay celibate or to respect children," Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during an annual meeting of Mexican bishops near Mexico City on Thursday.

"If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste," said Arizmendi, an influential bishop from the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas in southern Mexico.

"Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it's more likely there could be cases of pedophilia," he added.

The bishop was in charge of the formation of priests for two decades in Mexico but said that loose morals in society had made it difficult to keep seminarians committed to the faith.

The timing of his comments comes as Pope Benedict turned 83 Friday and the Catholic hierarchy has been rattled by revelations of sexual abuse scandals in parishes around the world.

It also follows several controversial comments made by Catholic clergy, including Monday when the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said priest pedophilia was linked to homosexuality not celibacy.

"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia," he told a news conference in Santiago, Chile.

Mexico is home to the world's second-largest Roman Catholic population after Brazil and the country has been rocked by its own share of allegations against Catholic leaders.

Last year, the pope ordered an inquiry into the powerful Legionaries of Christ order whose Mexican founder, Marcial Maciel, was discovered to be a sexual molester of young boys. Maciel, who died in 2008, also was known to have fathered at least one child.

The Vatican was hit by another embarrassing revelation this week when a website posted a letter by a senior cardinal heartily congratulating a French bishop in 2001 for not denouncing a self-confessed abusive priest to the police.
© Copyright (c) Reuters

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